This is definitely our most frequently asked question! Most of our clients come in being uncertain about whether their dog will cooperate – and we can tell you from experience that we are able to successfully calm and clean more than 99% of the time! Check out our FAQ video to see how we hold dogs. Your pet lies on the floor on a supportive dog bed with their head in our lap. With small dogs, we may wrap them in a towel to make them feel more secure. We hand scale their teeth with dental instruments just like when you go to your hygienist. The teeth are cleaned inside and out, removing the tartar build up. When we are done scaling, we polish the teeth. You receive a report card telling you what we were able to see during their appointment. When we first look in your pet’s mouth if we immediately find problems that appear to need your veterinarian’s attention, for example a molar that appears loose, we will refer you back to your vet to have a dental cleaning under anesthesia and there will be no charge. If during the appointment we find any problems, we will put the information on your report card so you can discuss any further action with your own veterinarian.
Do you polish teeth?
Yes, we carefully polish the teeth at the end of the dental cleaning. We use the same product, called prophy paste, which your human dentist uses to polish your teeth.
How effective is this method?
We take care to do a great job every time; however, there are circumstances where we might not be able to remove all the tartar and may refer you to your veterinarian – for example when there are deep pockets, root exposure or excessive wiggling. We do not pull teeth and we do not take x-rays. We do a great job of cleaning the inside and outside surfaces of your dog’s teeth, but our services are considered hygienic and not a medical procedure. If we are not able to complete the cleaning, there is no charge for the visit.
How often should I come in?
It depends on the breed and the build-up on the teeth. It is usually recommended at least every 6 months to a year. Smaller dogs may even need their teeth cleaned every three months, while some larger dogs may need them done less than once per year. We recommend as soon as you start seeing buildup again to have them re-cleaned. Leaving large amounts of bacteria in your pet’s mouth can lead to other health issues.
Do you use sterile tools?
Yes, we sterilize all our tools, and we use a clean scaler, new gloves, and new toothbrush on every animal. We sterilize our tools with UV lights and also use veterinarian grade antiseptic during the clinic hours. At the end of the day, we soak all our tools in antibacterial soap and water and clean the entire kit inside and out to ensure cleanliness.
How will my dog eat if they need to go to the vet and need multiple extractions?
Dogs are very resilient when it comes to healing and leading a normal life after dental surgery. We have seen many dogs who have little to no teeth left who still love to grab a hold of their bully stick or their big brothers crunchy kibble! They may not even realize that any teeth are gone – they just know that they feel much better. Some adjustments to diet may be needed but they can be very simple. Soft food like raw can be really easy for dogs who have little to no teeth to switch to, or even soaking their favourite kibble in some warm water will soften it up enough for them to be able to eat it. The most important thing to remember is that your dog will be happier and healthier after their bad teeth are extracted.
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